What problems does your business solve for its customers? What are your customers’ frequently asked questions, or to put it differently, your frequently found solutions? This is what you should be writing about in your blog. Part 2 of the Write Your Blog Today series is all about the ‘what’. What will you write about?
Remember you’re writing to someone
In Part 1 of this series I discussed who you are writing for. You are writing for an audience persona – your ideal audience members. Actually, it’s worth focusing in even closer. When you write have one audience member in your mind. Write for him or her. We’ll explore this even more in a future blog but for now you are writing to one person, a person who has a problem your business is able to solve.
You do not need to sell
You may be well familiarised with your sales process. Describing your business, its products or services, and how the mix is just right for a prospective buyer. This is all good information but it is not needed, yet. Content marketing is less sales spin and more permission marketing, a term coined by Seth Godin in his book by the same name. The ideology states that consumers are well practised at ignoring interruptive marketing so to reach them businesses must deliver anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.
At this blog writing stage you will do well to write about the solutions to consumer questions without reference to your products and services. When you have satisfied your reader that you understand their question and have the best answer they can find online they will look for more information about your business.
Answer common questions with your solutions
One of the simplest and most accurate ways to discover what problems your audience member has is to keep a list of the frequently asked questions your customers ask. It’s pretty likely that you’re articulating a well-rehearsed answer to these questions on a daily basis. Think about this, if you can blog about it, those common questions and your solutions, then every time a researching prospect customer finds your blog post online the benefit for everyone will multiply.
Firstly, you won’t have to have that verbal or email explanation to their question since they have already found your answer, this gives you some time in your day back. Secondly, when the searcher finds your answer they will be pleased, naturally, and they will take notice of where the answer came from.
If the searcher doesn’t call you up straight away they are likely to visit your website or visit your shop in the coming days where you can continue the relationship that began with their online search and your informative blog post. So if I haven’t drilled it home yet – make a list of your customers’ frequently asked questions and your solutions. This is your first list of blog topics.
Tackle the reasons why people don’t buy
Another blog topic that has lasting value to your content marketing strategy is to explain why customers don’t always choose to purchase your products or services. That might sound strange but there is huge value in this if you can write well to address people’s concerns and dispel fears. Your business almost certainly has prospect customers who got part of the way through the sales process and then abandoned it before completion. If you can learn their reasons why and address them with compassion and understanding you will win back important qualified leads (people who are genuinely interested in your business and close to making a transaction).
Here is an example of organisations that have done a great job of blogging about the reasons why people might avoid their service – and why they should reconsider! Dolphin Scuba is a scuba instruction and equipment hire business in Perth, Western Australia. Dolphin Scuba recently posted this article, Taking the Plunge | How Do I Know If Scuba Diving Is Right For Me? Can you think creatively about how you could apply this principle to your business and or industry?
‘How to’ guide on creating blog topics
How to explanations are always helpful blog topics. ‘How to…’ is a common term searched on Google. People are looking for instructions for everything from recipes to how to set up a new wireless router to how to choose a financial advisor. So if your published content is there to be found, with an intelligent and grabbing headline that clearly says ‘here is the trustworthy answer to your question’ the searcher is very likely to read further. Your goal should be to produce regular informative content so over time you will amass a body of work that demonstrates authority in your field. You may even become the go-to source for education information in your industry.
This is the approach that Marcus Sheridan of River Pools, Virginia, USA took. The business was struggling and shrinking when Marcus and his partners decided to commit to creating and publishing educative content on fibreglass swimming pools. Over a short time River Pools’ authority grew, so too its website traffic and, in turn, sales. Researching buyers have a strong appetite for information that will assist them to make a wise purchase decision. Marcus has since become a leading voice on content marketing, you can hear more from Marcus at The Sales Lion.
Crafting titles that hook readers
Then there’s the title, or headline… You’ll need a good one. A headline that will reach out to a reader and say, ‘you won’t be satisfied until you click me!’. There are a few important factors to consider when you are crafting your blog headline.
Think about what people are searching for. If your headline can use the same keywords as the searches people are typing in then Google will be more likely to match your blog article with those searches. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What words are they likely to use to frame their search on Google? Try a few (or a lot) of test searches – and take note of Google’s auto complete suggestions, these are previously searched terms. Use these keywords in your blog title.
Make sure to write a title that is accurate to the blog’s content. Readers are turned off by a cheap headline that tricks them into clicking the link only to find the article doesn’t hold what the title alluded to. Your blog must deliver on the promise made by its headline.
So your title should be keyword rich, genuinely representative of the blog content, be helpful, timely and pointed. Brian Clark of copyblogger.com says your title should consider 4 ‘U’s. Brian writes, “Headlines should be useful to the reader, provide a sense of urgency, convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow unique, and do all of this in an ultra-specific way.”
Listen. Learn. Write.
Now it’s over to you. Listen to your customers, learn what their questions are then write articles with solutions. When you’ve got a drafted blog article (or a couple), check back for Part 3 in this series, which will address ideal length of blog posts and posts on social media when you’re sharing your article. Speaking of sharing, if you enjoyed this blog article please pass it on.
For a bit of fun try out this title maker tool from Portent
source: Seth Godin